Esther Manito is many things, as she lists in her show; mother, wife, English, Arab, woman, comedian… All these things in isolation may seem innocuous (ok, not all, but you knew there was a twist coming) but when combined these things seem to irk a rather wide range of people. Irk them to the point of tweeting helpful suggestions to Esther, or storm out of a gig (well not out, but to the bar) or offer peculiar edits to certain facts about her family mentioned in her jokes.
Esther would like to get to the bottom of this, because whether these people criticising her are fellow mothers, EDL members or Arabs, don’t we all have something in common – that isn’t a strange urge to criticise Esther?
A consummate performer, Esther is able to bring the whole audience on board and riff with them. She is able to attack the sensitive topic of identity without once bringing the mood down or appearing earnest. Instead this remains a fun show throughout and in a sea of shows that contain the classic ‘moving personal twist’ this is no mean feat.
There is something of the classic club comedian about her performance – repeating certain phrases for impact, the vigour of her delivery and the importance she clearly puts on audience banter. However, when combined with the topics of motherhood, racism and the empathy she seems to have for each group mentioned, it’s clear that Esther is bringing a much-needed voice to comedy.
Esther Manito: Crusade is at the Gilded Balloon Teviot, Turret at 16:00 until 25th August. For tickets and more information click here!
There’s still time to nominate a women-led show for the 2019 Funny Women Awards’ Best Show Category! The show with the most nominations will be picked! Nominate a show you have seen or your own show by 31st August here!